Senior Home Care in Miamisburg OH

The Health Benefits of Walking the Dog

The first week of October is National Walk Your Dog week. And while of course, Fido will love getting a walk whenever he can, did you know that having your parent walk his dog (or maybe your dog) also provides many health benefits for your parent? It not only benefits your parent physically, but also mentally, and emotionally. Let’s see what some of those benefits are from what seems like such an everyday task.

It Elevates the Mood

Going outside into the sunshine and getting regular physical activity can elevate the mood. Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress and lift a person’s mood. Taking the dog for a walk releases endorphins, which are a feel-good chemical in the body that promotes a state of pleasure like laughter and love. Endorphins interact with receptors in the brain and bring about feelings of well-being, and increased self-esteem. When your parent brings a dog along for a walk, it also helps him feel that sense of being needed, which can also increase his sense of self-worth and being needed.

It Creates Social Interactions

It’s hard to walk a dog and not have someone stop and say “what a cute pup!” These little interactions make your parent also feel seen in the world and provide an opportunity for a little social interaction. It gets him away from the television or the four walls of his home and reminds him that he’s an important part of his community.

It Improves Physical Health

When done appropriately, walking the dog can improve your parent’s physical health as well. Walking can do such things as improve cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, and increase bone and muscle strength to name a few. If walking the dog alone is a bit of a concern, having a senior home care provider join him on his walk with the dog might help make sure he makes it up and down any steps he comes across or curbs he has to step off of.

It Creates Community

Your parent may find that while out walking his dog, he’ll see other people walking their dogs as well. This is a great ice-breaker for getting to know his neighbors. Having a shared interest like pet ownership can help your parent get to know his neighbors better and that may lead to a tighter-knit community that watches out for each other and provides a sense of belonging.

Get Help from Senior Home Care

Before your parent steps out with his dog, make sure he’s able to manage the leash and not have to be concerned about being pulled off his feet or dragged across the street while the dog tries to chase a squirrel. If it is tough for your parent to hold the leash, he can still enjoy the benefits of walking his dog by walking alongside his senior home care worker as the provider holds the leash for the walk.

Your parent may learn to love walking his dog so much that it will no longer feel like a chore and more like a much looked-forward-to outing each day.


If you are considering senior home care in Miamisburg, OH, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts At Home of Dayton today at 937-558-9394.

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